Disclaimer: The Twilight Saga and its characters are the property of Stephanie Meyer. No copyright infringement intended.
I just couldn't believe it.
As a matter of fact, the whole school couldn't believe it.
Edward and Bella.
Bella and Edward.
Bella and Edward, of all people. I supposed if it was Bella and Eric or Tyler or Mike, then it wouldn't have created quite large of a stir. But Edward was the special one of our school, the single one, the hottest one, the challenge.
And here, all of a sudden, Bella just breezes through our school and he drifts along with her, like a broken leaf, as if it were nothing.
It really was very unfair, life.
I, along with most of the female population in the school (the normal ones, at least), had been admiring, pining after, attracted to, flirting with and asking out (in vain, mind you) the Edward Cullen, who became a complete mystery to everybody but his family because he turned down every single offer to date.
I mean, someone as hot as he was had to have at least been attracted to one girl. Perhaps he was shy, though he certainly didn't appear that way. He was reclusive, that was obvious but someone had to have been able to capture his attention.
I just could not believe it had to be Bella Swan.
That girl was the plainest person I had ever seen. Her jeans were faded, her tennis shoes were worn, she wore simple T–shirts, covered up by sweaters; she wasn't very tall, she was quite skinny, she had absolutely no figure, she never wore any makeup, she didn't wear accessories, like ever, she wasn't a straight A student (oh, who need brains these days anyway?) . . .
I just couldn't see what it was about her that made Edward Cullen snap out of his little, personal bubble. Seeing him interact with her was just rubbing it in my face, along with other girls'.
The entire school — boys and girls, maybe even teachers — was buzzing with rumors.
Of course, I knew that because I started them. Being Bella's best friend gave some slight advantages, but it was extremely frustrating as well, because she was the quietest person I knew. She never really gave straight answers and whenever she did, it was always lacking in detail.
For the first time ever, I was in school early. First of all, I needed to spread fresh gossip about what had happened last night. After Edward Cullen mysteriously appeared in Port Angeles, crashing our girl's night out, I just knew something was up. Bella had just said that he conveniently showed up . . . Pfft, like I was going to believe that.
Now, I didn't really get much out of their date last night as Bella's father had been home but she had promised to tell me during Trig class. If she came early as well, then I could squeeze the information out of her just as quickly.
However, I didn't catch sight of Bella's Chevy truck in the parking lot so I grabbed Bella's jacket and left to find to my friends. I knew there was no point discussing anything about Edward and Bella with Lauren. Lauren completely despised Bella because she was under the impression that Bella was after Tyler's affections, although it was the other way around. I didn't really see what was so interesting in Tyler, either. Mike was better. Edward was even better.
I was dying to see Edward and Bella. I had to find out what stage their relationship was at. Clearly, there was something more than friendship hidden in there. And I would be damned if Bella wasn't going to tell me anything. After all, I was the best at spreading gossip. People depended on me for news. And this Edward–Bella relationship was the biggest news flash Forks had ever seen.
I paced back and forth at the entrance of the school, muttering my greetings to my friends as they passed me. My eyes were constantly drawn to the parking lot, scanning between the cars to make sure I hadn't accidentally missed Bella's or Edward's.
I formulated a plan in my mind for today. First, of course, I would constantly monitor Edward's reactions to Bella. I would see how Bella reacted to Edward as well. I needed to know how they felt about each other. Obviously, I wouldn't be able to ask Edward but I had definitely succeed in finding out Bella's feelings for him. It wouldn't be too hard, of course. I was excellent at reading people and their emotions and it was amazing how I could extract things about people.
My eyes narrowed in concentration when I noticed Rosalie's familiar convertible pulling in through the lot. Of course, supermodels stepped out. Even though the Cullens were old news, having attended this school for quite some time, people could not help but just have their eyes drawn to them.
I frowned, wondering why Edward wasn't with his siblings. I stared after the four Cullen siblings as they entered the school, walking ever so gracefully.
Edward wasn't coming to school?
Of course, that complicated things but just a bit. It wasn't as if I were going to question him in the first place but I supposed his absence would send Bella into a depressed mood. Would she be alert enough to answer my questions?
Or were they both skipping today?
I stood fuming over the idea of the two of them ditching school to get cozy just as Edward's familiar Volvo came speeding into the parking lot.
My eyes bulged out when Bella stepped out from the passenger's seat. He drove her to school? In his car? With her sitting in the passenger seat of his car?
Goodness, what was the world coming to? Any girl would be lucky to sit in Edward's car. Forget inside his car, I would be more than delighted, honored even, to squeeze myself even in the trunk of his car . . . as long as he was in it with me.
They began approaching us, close together but not touching, and I kept my eyes fixated on them, trying to decipher their expressions. Edward seemed a little amused and his eyes constantly drifted to Bella. Bella, on the other hand, to be honest looked completely out of place by his side. She looked extremely awkward and even a little uncomfortable. Did she not like that Edward had picked her up? Had they planned this little trip together? Did Bella insist on them driving to school together?
Her eyes landed on me when we were just a few inches away from each other.
"Hey, Jessica." She smiled, glancing down at her sweater draped over my arm. "Thanks for remembering."
My tongue was plastered to the roof of my mouth, making it impossible to say anything legible as I held it out her sweater to her. It was only when she took her jacket from my hands did I glance down at her to realize the jacket that she was currently wearing Edward freaking Cullen's freaking jacket. So, apparently Edward found someone worthy enough to lend his sweater to.
"Good morning, Jessica."
Whoa. The most beautiful voice was speaking to me. Of course, he had spoken to me many times, to reject me politely whenever I had asked him out, but this was so much better. I could hear the caress in his voice when he said my name.
Screw Bella. Edward and I were meant for each other.
Naturally, I was cool and collected around Edward. My response was brilliant. "Er . . . hi."
I glanced nervously back at Bella, wondering whether I should say more. Obviously, she had more experience with speaking to him, though, how I could never understand. It wasn't too difficult to melt in the presence of any of the Cullens.
Making sure that she remembered she had some explaining to do, I added, "I guess I'll see you in Trig" making the words as significant as possible.
"Yeah, I'll see you then."
I chewed the inside of my lip as I considered Bella's clearly dismissive statement. Should I insist on walking with them together to class? I knew that questioning Bella would be impossible with Edward around. They were obviously dating, even if they didn't show it to others. Being a couple meant holding hands and . . . kissing. So, were they dating in secret? How did Edward feel about Bella? Bella definitely was in love, wasn't she?
I definitely did not want to spread false gossip. I needed to hear the words from Bella herself that she was in love with Edward.
I walked away from them, checking over my shoulder to make sure they hadn't disappeared or anything. I rolled my eyes when I caught them conversing quietly with another, appearing as if nobody but them existed.
My first classes passed by in a blur and I was completely inattentive between lectures. Different conversations kept playing in my mind as I tried to imagine Bella's answers to my endless stream of questions. There were so many things I wanted to ask her.
As soon as the bell rang, I dashed off to Trig, selected a seat in the very back and stared impatiently at the door as my feet tapped against the floor repeatedly. My gaze never wavered and finally, Bella entered, looking quite reluctant.
"Tell me everything!" I demanded eagerly, watching her with hungry eyes. I could not, for the life of me, understand why she was looking so forlorn. If it had been me in her shoes, I would be shouting at the top of my lungs, hoping for the whole world to know.
"What do you want to know?" She asked innocently, removing her jacket and draping it over her chair.
I rolled my eyes. Did she really have to ask that? "What happened last night?"
She shrugged, looking far too flippant than she should be. I couldn't understand why she seemed so glum. "He bought me dinner, and then he drove me home."
That was the most boring recitation of a dinner date I had ever heard in my life.
I narrowed my eyes at her. That couldn't be everything. There was obviously way more to their evening than she was letting on and I was going to pull it out of her sooner or later. "How did you get home so fast?"
"He drives like a maniac." Her expression turned genuine for the first time and I could her the honesty in her tone. "It was terrifying."
"Was it like a date—did you tell him to meet you there?"
They had to have planned it up. Bella must have just been using our shopping day as an excuse to get him to follow us to Port Angeles as well. Then, she must have innocently insisted on going to find a bookstore by herself and Edward Cullen shows up.
Bella's face expressed surprise. "No—I was very surprised to see him there."
I scrutinized her for a moment, sighing when I realized that she wasn't lying.
"But he picked you up for school today?" I pressed on eagerly, not about to let this conversation come to end. No matter how disappointed I was, this was serious news.
"Yes — that was a surprise, too. He noticed I didn't have a jacket last night."
"So are you going out again?" I demanded, my eyes never leaving her.
"He offered to drive me to Seattle Saturday because he thinks my truck isn't up to it — does that count?"
I grinned wildly. "Yes."
"Well, then, yes."
I still couldn't wrap my head around it.
"W–o–w. Edward Cullen."
"I know." She replied, sounding more awed than before; like she should be.
She began twisting her body back to face the front of the class, as if to start paying attention to whatever the heck Mr. Varner was teaching, but I wasn't going to let that happen. Our conversation wasn't over; I still had a very pressing question to ask.
"Wait!" I exclaimed, not bothering to work to keep my voice low. "Has he kissed you?"
"No," She muttered; her expression fallen. "It's not like that."
I didn't really get what she meant by that. They went on a date last night; clearly they were both attracted to each other. Then what did she mean by "It's not like that"? Was there really no relationship between them, even though Bella clearly wanted one?
"Do you think Saturday . . . ?"
I didn't even need to finish my question before she was shaking her head. "I really doubt it."
I pondered over this information. There was only one conclusion I could come up with: so, obviously, Bella was in love with Edward — who wasn't, anyway? — and because he didn't have any feelings for her, they didn't have a romantic relationship, which saddened her. Then again, that was the case with every single girl (who had gotten a glimpse of Edward Cullen), myself included.
I should have known that there wasn't anything really special about her.
But then, she did have dinner with him last night, something which every girl hoped for: a dinner date with Edward Cullen. They must have talked about something. "What did you talk about?"
"I don't know, Jess, lots of stuff. We talked about the English essay a little."
I rolled my eyes; as if I would be satisfied with that. "Please, Bella. Give me some details."
She paused for a moment, thinking over before a tiny smile flitted across her face. "Well . . . okay, I've got one. You should have seen the waitress flirting with him — it was over the top. But he didn't pay any attention to her at all."
This was completely contradicting now. Clearly, Bella must have been jealous, if she was bringing the topic up now, but according to her news, she didn't have a reason to be. And it seemed that Edward did have feelings for her, if he didn't bother to spare a glance at the waitress. Then, if Edward didn't look at the waitress, then it would obviously mean that he was attracted to Bella. But why would she look so unhappy about it? Their supposed "relationship" was very confusing but I would break it down somehow.
"That's a good sign. Was she pretty?"
"Very — and probably nineteen or twenty."
"Even better. He must like you." Even as I said the words, my tone hardened and I was burning up inside with all the envy for this girl.
"I think so, but it's hard to tell. He's always so cryptic."
I couldn't argue there. If there was anyone on this planet who could be deemed as "mysterious", it was Edward Cullen.
"I don't know how you're brave enough to be alone with him." The words slipped out before I could stop them, but I was curious to know her answer. It was as if he didn't affect her at all.
"He's so . . . intimidating." More like incredibly sexy . . . "I wouldn't know what to say to him."
I had tried, of course, to speak to him, mainly to ask him out, but all I can remember is speaking some unintelligible words, making absolutely no sense to the either of us. That was what happened when you were staring into his hypnotizing eyes, unable to look away until he did first.
"I do have some trouble with incoherency when I'm around him." She agreed, flushing quite a bit; probably remembering some of her embarrassing experiences with her speaking gibberish around him.
"Oh well." I shrugged flippantly; the fact that he was handsome and intimidating just made him perfect automatically. "He is unbelievably gorgeous."
"There's a lot more to him than that."
I raised an eyebrow while a slow smile began spreading across my face, hearing the defensive tone in her voice, though she tried to hide it. "Really? Like what?"
"I can't explain it right . . . but he's even more unbelievable behind the face."
I waited impatiently for her to continue. Finally, she seemed to opening up more.
"Is that possible?" I chuckled to myself when she didn't reply.
Bella faced the front, trying to act interested in the class. But I wasn't going to let her off that easily. She still had some confessing to do. I had to hear straight from her mouth what her feelings for Edward Cullen were.
"So you like him, then?"
She was completely missing the point.
I tried not to sigh, as if exasperated with a three year old, but seriously, she could gain a little enthusiasm for the benefit of this conversation, couldn't she? Why was I doing all the work? "I mean, do you really like him?
Was it really that hard to come out and say a single sentence? She sounded so bored with this revelation, as if admitting to practically being in love with Edward Cullen was a normal occurrence? If it were me, I would be screaming from the rooftops of the tallest building in the world (whatever that was); unlike her, sounding so out of life.
"How much do you like him?"
It was silent for a moment and Bella's cheeks reddened slightly as she carefully contemplated her response, which was barely above a whisper. "Too much. More than he likes me. But I don't see how I can help that."
I could feel the confusion on my face and was equally confused, if not more, inside. I felt like I was missing a really big and important part in their relationship. There was this huge secret that I was missing — something that made not only Edward Cullen mysterious, but the connection between them mystifying as well.